CT man accused of hacking celebrity photo accounts, including Je - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CT man accused of hacking celebrity photo accounts, including Jennifer Lawrence, Kirsten Dunst

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)

A man from Northford is the one of the suspects behind a 2014 hack of private online celebrity photos, according to federal prosecutors.

George Garofano, 26, was charged with a felony computer hacking offense in federal court on Thursday.

Prosecutors said he was involved in a phishing scheme, which became known as "Celebgate," that gave him illegal access to more than 250 Apple iCloud accounts that belonged to Jennifer Lawrence, Kirsten Dunst and others.

Garofano agreed to plead guilty to a count of "unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information."

According to a plea agreement, Garofano admitted that between April 2013 and Oct. 2014, he sent emails to victims that appeared to be from Apple security accounts. In the emails, he encouraged the victims to send him their usernames and passwords or told them to enter them on a third-party website to which he had access.

The information allowed Garofano to steal personal information, including photos and videos, the plea agreement stated.

He then traded that information with other people.

Though many victims were celebrities in Los Angeles, prosecutors said a number of victims were non-celebrities in Connecticut.

Garafano's case marks the fourth in the FBI investigation.

Arrests were made in Chicago, Illinois and Pennsylvania. The suspects in the latter two cases were sentenced to prison.

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